10 Parenting Books to Match Your Mood

10 Parenting Books to Match Your Mood


WHEN YOU FEEL LIKE YOU’RE TURNING INTO A NAGGING WITCH . . .

If I Have to Tell You One More Time…: The Revolutionary Program That Gets Your Kids To Listen Without Nagging, Reminding, or Yelling 

by Amy McCready

I bought this book when I thought our kids were going deaf (and beginning to worry that I was ruining our relationships with my Ask-Remind-Nag-Explode cycle). Amy McCready gives simple, straight-forward, and one-step-at-a-time advice that really does help.

In fact, it’s time for me to revisit this book, I think. I’ve slipped into old habits again. Dang human nature.


WHEN YOU’RE PRETTY SURE YOU’RE TOO SCREWED UP TO BE RAISING CHILDREN . . .

Parenting from the Inside Out: How a Deeper Self-Understanding Can Help You Raise Children Who Thrive

by Daniel J. Siegel, M.D. and Mary Hartzell, M.Ed.

Speaking of human nature, lots of parents come into parenting with baggage from their own childhoods. This book is a parenting book, but it’s more about you as a human being and how dealing with your own issues can make you a better parent. Makes sense, no?


WHEN YOU FEEL OVERWHELMED WITH STUFF AND SCHEDULES AND SUCH . . .

Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids

by Kim John Payne, M.Ed.

I ADORE this book. How many of us can relate to feeling weighed down by too much stuff, too many activities, too many commitments, too much to keep track of? This book offers freedom from all of that. So, so, so good.


WHEN YOU FEEL YOUR KIDS SLIPPING AWAY AND YOU NEED SOMEONE TO BACK UP YOUR FERVENT DEDICATION TO “FAMILY TIME” . . .

Hold On to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers

by Gordon Neufeld, Ph.D. and Gabor Maté, M.D.

Love this book, too. Parents do need to matter more than peers, and everything in our popular culture steers kids in the opposite direction. This book will give you the conviction to stick to your guns when your kid asks why he can’t do something “everyone else” is doing.


WHEN YOU FIND YOURSELF ASKING, “WHAT DO YOU LITTLE PEOPLE WANT FROM ME!?!” . . .

The 5 Love Languages of Children

by Gary Chapman, Ph.D. and Ross Campbell, M.D.

Seriously, you’d think raising your children since they were born would result in knowing exactly what they need. But those little people can be mysteries sometimes. If you’re unfamiliar with the Love Languages concept, the gist is that we each give and receive love in different ways, and that affects almost everything in our relationships.

Do your kids thrive with hugs or would they prefer a surprise gift? Do your kids need to hear you say affirming words, or is it more effective to do something nice for them? Learning your kids’ love languages is an awesome tool.


WHEN YOU WONDER IF YOU’RE CREATING A MONSTER. OR A LAWYER . . .


No: Why Kids—of All Ages—Need to Hear It and Ways Parents Can Say It

by David Walsh, Ph.D.

Admittedly, I haven’t read this whole book, but it’s got rave reviews and I trust other parents. I know a lot of people have a hard time saying no—and even those of us who don’t mind saying no sometimes have a hard time getting kids to accept “no” for an answer. We usually start singing “No” by They Might Be Giants when that happens, but it’s always nice to have a Ph.D. on your side, too.


WHEN YOU NEED SOME COMMISERATION AND LAUGHTER FROM A MOM WHO GETS IT . . .


Motherhood Comes Naturally (and Other Vicious Lies)

by Jill Smokler

Speaking of being on your side, Jill Smokler is the Best Mom Friend You Wish You Had. She is the driving force behind Scary Mommy and got her fame by telling motherhood like it is. Honest, funny, relatable—this book is an easy read and will make you feel better about your family life, I PROMISE. Fabulous gift for a mom in the trenches.


WHEN YOU NEED SOME COMMISERATION AND LAUGHTER FROM A BUNCH OF MOMS WHO GET IT . . .

I Still Just Want to Pee Alone (I Just Want to Pee Alone – Volume 3)

by Jenn Mann and Kim Bongiorno

If one Best Mom Friend isn’t enough, here’s a whole collection from mom writers whose stories will make you laugh and snort and cry out, “THANK GOD IT’S NOT JUST ME.”

Also, there are two more Pee Alone books where this one came from. (These books are a great way to find other bloggers. You know, in case you’re sick of me.)


WHEN YOU NEED SOME COMMISERATION AND LAUGHTER FROM A MOM WHO GETS IT BUT YOU DON’T HAVE THE TIME OR ENERGY TO READ A REAL BOOK . . .

Parenting: Illustrated with Crappy Pictures

by Amber Dusick

Let’s face it. Reading books is hard. Not the actual reading part, but with the little kids and the not sleeping and the drowning in laundry and the sweeping and the trying to balance work and family and the whole exhaustion thing . . . reading can be hard.

Problem solved! Amber Dusick rescues our weary eyes and brains with simple, “crappy” pictures about parenting. It’s weird how crude digital drawings can so perfectly depict everything we parents do and feel and think, but they do. SO funny.

This also would make an AWESOME baby shower gift. Might as well prep those new moms on what to expect, right?


I’m sure I missed some moods that a good parenting book might cure. How about OH MY WORD MY CHILD IS A LUNATIC or I’M SO TIRED THIS CONCRETE FLOOR LOOKS MIGHTY COMFY TO LIE DOWN ON or I WAS NOT PREPARED FOR THIS AMOUNT OF GROSSNESS. If you have any book suggestions for those, please pass them along.

Happy Parenting, everyone!

(This post contains affiliate links. Anything you purchase through one of my affiliate links helps me buy coffee, which is essential for my children’s well-being. Thank you for supporting my sanity.)

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Annie writes about life, motherhood, world issues, beautiful places, and anything else that tickles her brain. On good days, she enjoys juggling life with her husband and homeschooling her children. On bad days, she binges on chocolate chips and dreams of traveling the world alone.

Comments 2

  1. Life With Teens and Other Wild Things

    LOVE! Love that the pee alone books made this list! Awesome stuff.

    I’d add “Who Are All these Children and Why are They Calling Me Mom?” by Faith Bogdan http://www.amazon.com/Who-These-Children-They-Calling/dp/1621360288

    Definitely added to my to-read list today, especially the “you’re too screwed up to be raising kids” one. Having one of those kinds of weeks.
    Life With Teens and Other Wild Things recently posted…The Three Bears and CPS- A Mixed Up, (but true) FairytaleMy Profile

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